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14.10.2005 Regional News

Newmont embarks on public capacity building activities

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Koforidua, Oct. 14, GNA - Newmont Ghana, the US-based transnational gold mining company, had embarked on a series of programmes to build stakeholders capacity in its Akyem Project area in the Birim North District of the Eastern Region in anticipation of the approval of its application by government institutions.

The first of the programmes, "Group Dynamics Training", was meant to train and equip community leaders with relevant skills including negotiations, community information dissemination, conflict resolution and record keeping.

Mr Robin Budden, Manager, Operations Development of Newmont, who announced this at the company's third Quarterly Media Interactions at Koforidua on Thursday, said the company had contracted the Opportunities Industrialisation Centres International (OICI) to conduct the training programmes.

He said the participants were made up of members of the Community Consultative Committees from the nine communities in the project area including traditional rulers, assemblymen/women, the youth and government regulatory agencies.

Mr Budden said in line with the company's objective of creating understanding through dialogue and trust between it and operational site communities, it recently organized a four-day

educational/familiarization trip for 51 community representatives to three mining sites in the Western Region including those of the Iduapriem Gold Mines, Tarkwa Gold Mines and Bogoso Gold Limited. He explained that the trip took them to experience the plants, resettlement sites, backfilled and reclaimed sites to enable them to obtain a foretaste of what Newmont's operations in their area had for them to enable them to educate others. According to Mr Budden, the company, which had completed various pre-mining preparations, including the environmental and social impact assessments was now waiting for the approval of the Environmental Protection Agency(EPA) and the Minerals Commission to begin mining. He said the company, which has another concession in the Asutifi North district in the Brong Ahafo Region, hoped to establish resettlement committees, local labour pools, develop training centers for alternative income generation for people in the nine communities before mining begins.